Performance assessment of bio-inspired systems: Flow sensing MEMS hairs

H. Droogendijk, J. Casas, T. Steinmann, G.J.M. Krijnen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    17 Citations (Scopus)
    25 Downloads (Pure)


    Despite vigorous growth in biomimetic design, the performance of man-made devices relative to their natural templates is still seldom quantified, a procedure which would however significantly increase the rigour of the biomimetic approach.Weapplied the ubiquitous engineering concept of a figure of merit (FoM) to MEMS flow sensors inspired by cricket filiform hairs. A well known mechanical model of a hair is refined and tailored to this task. Five criteria of varying importance in the biological and engineering fields are computed: responsivity, power transfer, power efficiency, response time and detection threshold. We selected the metrics response time and detection threshold for building the FoM to capture the performance in a single number. Crickets outperform actual MEMS on all criteria for a large range of flow frequencies. Our approach enables us to propose several improvements for MEMS hair-sensor design.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number016001
    Number of pages14
    JournalBioinspiration & biomimetics
    Issue number1
    Early online date19 Dec 2014
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2015


    • TST-Life like
    • Flow sensor
    • Hair
    • Biomimetics
    • Figure of merit
    • MEMS
    • Metrics
    • 2023 OA procedure


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